RESIDENTS need to take more precautions when carrying out reduction burns on their properties after 41 reports of flare-ups last month, according to Mundaring Shire.
The fires resulted from smouldering embers and several illegal burns, with some of the blazes taking hours for volunteer fire crews to extinguish.
Shire chief executive Jonathan Throssell said since April, ‘escaped burns’ had caused about $48,500 of property damage in the area.
“Our local volunteer fire brigades have been increasingly called upon as a direct result of community members failing to properly extinguish burns on their properties,” Mr Throssell said.
In many cases, residents hoped burning piles would ‘fizzle out’ naturally and had not followed the Shire’s burning regulations.
Burning piles no larger than 1sq m must be extinguished fully before midnight.
“Residents’ failure to properly saturate the burn area with water once complete has meant many fires have continued to burn peat and roots underground, eventually becoming uncontained,” he said.
“These escaped burns have not only damaged property belonging to residents and their neighbours, but have incurred added costs of volunteer and local government time and resources.”
The Shire reminds people to follow the correct procedure and saturate a fire until it is cold with no steam and smoke.
Mr Throssell said while it was important for residents to reduce fuel loads on their properties, fire regulations ensured the safety of the community.
Residents who illegally burn, burn without a permit or do not extinguish a fire will receive a $250 infringement from the Shire.
The fine excludes any prosecution for damages a resident may be liable for under the Bushfires Act 1954 and where a magistrate may impose a fine up to $25,000.
For all bushfire advice or book on to a free workshop until May 19, call the fire safety team on 9290 6696 or visit the Shire website.
Checklist before lighting up:
Check weather conditions
Rake a bare earth firebreak
Have a garden hose laid out
Stay close by to monitor